Internal: correspondence written to coworkers within a company
Internal and external: correspondence written to friends and
acquaintances, coworkers within a company, and clients and vendors.
Identification lines: Date, To, From, Subject. Options include cc
(complimentary copy), Ref (reference), and distribution (other recipients of
Identification lines: To and subject. The Date and From is computer
generated. Options include cc (complimentary copy), Ref (reference), and
Distribution (other recipients of the e-mail message).
Generally specialist and semi specialist within the company.
Multiple readers due to the internal and external nature of e-mail.
Company related, allowing for abbreviations and acronyms due to well
A wide range of diverse topics determined by the audience.
Determined by audience: can be informal when written to coworkers;
might be more formal when written to management.
A wide range of tones due diverse audience. Usually informal when
written to friends informal to coworkers, more formal to management. The largest
involves multicultural readers.
Speed or Delivery time
Determined by a company’s in-house mail procedures. Memos could be
delivered within hours or days.
Often instantaneous, usually within minutes. Delays can be caused by
system malfunctions or excessively large attachments.
Hard-copy attachment can be stapled to a memo or enclosed within an
envelope Size is not an issue. Complimentary copies can be sent to other
readers by way of the company’s mail system.
Computer word processing files, HTML files and Web links, PDF files,
or downloadable graphics can be attached to e-mail. Complimentary copies can
be sent to other readers. Size of the file is an issue, because large
documents can crash a reader’s system. A good rule of thumb is to limit files
to 750 kilobytes (k).
A typical memo is no longer than one printed page (81/2×
An effective e-mail message is limited to one viewable screen
(requiring no scrolling)
If a company’s mail delivery system is reliable, the memo will be
secure. Memos can be delivered within a sealed envelope. No one else will see
the memo unless the reader or writer shares it.
E-mail systems are not secure. E-mail can be tampered with, read by
others. And sent to many people. E-mail stays within a company’s computer
backup system and is the property of the company. Therefore, e-mail is not